Sewage Injector Pump needs replacing?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by ncyewest, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. ncyewest

    ncyewest New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I have a basement sewage injector pump installed by the builder less than 3 years ago (we requested a finished bathroom in the otherwise unfinished basement). Three months ago, I began attempting to finish sections and hired a friend to do some framing and hang sheetrock. He did this over a four week period. I also had a roughout for a washer/dryer and a sink added to the main water line of the finished bathroom (on the open framed side) with roughout drain added to the bathroom sink line drain. I don't know if this has created a problem or not, just a side note. It was performed by a licensed plumber and has not been in use, just roughed out. Work was halted on finishing the basement due to financial constraints.

    Now in the past, roughly once a month or so, I would go down to the basement and flush the toilet 3 to 4 times, two flushes to activate the sump pump and two more flushes for good measure. Usually this is just fresh water.

    This month, I went down and flushed the toilet twice, the sump pump did not turn on. Hmm, I flushed again - whoops, sewage was now running out the pump onto the basement floor. I quickly checked the electrical plug, reconnecting to another known working outlet, the pump still did not turn on. I sopped up the mess and contacted the extended home warranty program that I pay for annually just for such emergencies.

    The plumper who came out stated that the sewage injector pump was probably builder supply and that these do not last long. He never unbolted the lid to inspect for other issues. Note, the pump has probably turned on maybe 40 times in the last 2.5 years. It may also be that there has been sewage sitting in either end that has sat for 1-2 months. He is stating that a replacement sewage injector pump will run around $300.00 which appears to be the approximate pricing when I purused online. He is asking an additional $600.00 to replace the injector pump and my home warranty program will only pay $200 of that.

    My questions are: 1) is it true that builder pumps have such poor lifetime usage, 2) can a plumber determine it is the injector pump by just standing and looking at the casing, and 3) is this $600 a fair price to replace the injector pump?

    Thank you very much in advance. I'm a single mom, special ed teacher, out on disability, any help to ensure I'm not getting ripped off is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  2. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Well pricing varies from city to city , state to state, so I can not tell you if that is fair for your area. It would be fair priced if you where in my area. The plumber can get a idea what type of pump you have in the basin by looking at the cords. In most cases its a faulty switch on the pump but replacing the switch can be costly and would be cheaper and better insurance to replace the pump.

    Now about builder pumps being not so good, that all depends on the builder and what they specified from the contractor. Most cases around here they use Zoeller pumps which is a very good pump. One thing I have noticed if all they did was rough in for a bathroom and no fixtures where installed, the contractor will save himself a buck and install a sump pump in the ejector basin. Then when people finish the bathroom off, the do not know about the sump pump in the ejector basin and it works fine fir a while till the pump gets clogged with waste. The pump that should be in the pit with a bathroom dumping into it should be a 2" discharge ejector pump.
  3. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    It would have been messy but, yeah it would have been helpful to pull the pump to see it's condition. The one pulled recently that we replaced was smoking although it was submerged in fluid. The price is what it is as the individual doing the job is subjecting themsleves to something most folks would rather stay a ten foot pole away from.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Whenever I do one I figure the smell will linger in my sinuses for at least a couple of days...

    Whats that worth?
  5. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    First tip, remove anything from shirt pockets. :mad:
  6. Probably a Zoeller single wire pump.....

    did you notice wether the pump had one wire or two wires comming out of the pump???


    If it has two wires plugged into the wall perhaps all that is wrong is the switch to the pump is bad...


    if thier is only one wire plugged into the wall, then most likely is it s crappy Zoeller pump and the switch has gone bad.... already....


    I wont pull a pump either,
    just to prove to you it is bad.....no way ...not me...


    my going rate to chisel out the rusted bolts on top of that pit,
    remove the pump ( all covered in steaming biscuits and gravey)

    and install a new one back down in that funkey brew..... $800
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  7. ncyewest

    ncyewest New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks!

    There is only one power cord. It appears like I'm getting a good deal, thank you for the pertinent info. He's looking at Blue Angel, have you had any experience with this brand? I'd hope not to chunk down this amount of change again for a while. If I'm unable to have it replaced for a while, could this cause further problems down the road (besides not being able to use the basement bathroom). And I'll make sure to supply the nose plugs! :)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Zoeller or Liberty is what we use. Very reliable.

    I, myself have never serviced an ejector (thats ejector not injector, don't know why anyone would want to inject poo) Any time I have had to work on one, if I had to open up the tank and remove the old pump, they get a new one. I don't clean them, mess with them or service them in any way. They get double bagged in heavy contractor bags and disposed of. There's no way in hell I'm fishing used tampons and poo out of the impellers or scraping wads of toilet paper off the float switches. :mad:
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yea thats for sure...
    I hate it when my pack of smokes fall in an ejector pit...
    They taste like poo afterwards...
  10. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I get new cell phones this way.
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